By Jeff Montgomery
I had a chance to spend a little time with Royals owner David Glass and his wife, Ruth, a week or so ago at the Royals’ holiday party down on The Plaza. It was a very good visit with Mr. Glass and as usual, I found myself looking at things a little differently than I did before conversing with him.
There has been much talk about the Royals “window” of opportunity to compete for another World Series title and how that window could close after 2017. Some not only think it will close; they think it will be slammed shut.
However, after talking with Mr. Glass, I am more excited about next year’s team than I was before the conversation. He made a comment that I should have thought about, long before hearing it come out of his mouth. It has to do with the large amount of potential free agents that are likely going to be suiting up in Royals uniforms on April 3rd when the team opens in Minnesota against the Twins. It is his belief that with so many players in the final year of their contract with the team, there will be a large amount of players who have career years.
As a player, I never thought a great deal about needing to have a big year before becoming a free agent but looking back, it seemed like those were always good years. I’m talking about those years when there was a team option on my contract or years that were the final season of a multi-year deal.
Another refreshing conversation at the holiday party was one I had with Dayton Moore. I had a chance to talk with him a little about the trade of Wade Davis for Jorge Soler. Obviously Davis would have been one of the potential free agents the Royals would have trotted out there had he not been traded, and he certainly was extremely productive over the past three seasons as a reliever.
What I took away from my conversation with Dayton about the trade was more about Jorge Soler than it was about Wade Davis. As much as Dayton loved Wade Davis in Royal blue, I could tell that he is extremely excited about the potential ahead for Soler. He really likes him as a player and a person, and the amount of time and work Dayton and his staff have invested in potential acquisitions has paid enormous dividends for his teams. He has not acquired many “bad apples”.
With Christmas and the New Year right around the corner, it will be both fun and interesting to see how the final pieces of the Royals puzzle come together over the last few months of the baseball offseason. I had an enjoyable time at the Royals holiday party catching up with the dozens of Royals personnel that I see on an almost daily basis at the ballpark during the season, but I had an even better time hearing such words of enthusiasm from Mr. Glass and Dayton Moore. I think we could have some more fun in store for next season. Stay tuned.